Rolling pin questions
I am new to baking, and I want to buy an inexpensive, non-stick pin. I will be using this pin only for bread dough and pizza dough. I will NOT be using the pin to make pastry.
I saw a plastic pin that looks as if it may meet my needs. Can any of you tell me if there are problems associated with using a plastic rolling pin to roll out bread and pizza dough?
I also saw some pins that are called "fondant" rolling pins. Can fondant pins also be used for rolling out bread dough?
Also, what is the best length pin for rolling out a 14" pizza? Does the pin have to be at least 14" long? Or can I use a shorter pin and just roll twice to cover the extra dough?
You usually don't roll out pizza, you stretch it by hand. Not sure how it would come out otherwise.
I have a short pin that I got back in the 1970s and I thought it was fine. However, I recently invested in one that is over 20 inches long (I think they are called a French pin?) and I don't know how I ever lived without it. I got it at Bed Bath and Beyond.
Doesn't sound like you need a pin at all if pizza dough and bread are your plan. Bread doesn't need rolling either.
If you are in a pinch, you can always use a clean wine bottle to do a bit of rolling.
I just began baking this summer. I mostly bake pizza and bread, rarely cookies or biscuits and NEVER pastry. I don't use a rolling pin at all. I shape pizza skins and bread loaves by hand.
My pizzas are works of art, in that each one is unique, none are quite round, some are almost triangular, but they all look gorgeous when they come out of the oven. My pizza shaping technique is a work in progress, but it feels good to keep trying.
When bread calls for shaping into a certain size for loaves or rolls, I use my hands to pat, stretch and coax it into the needed dimensions.
In pizza, I do very thin and really, really thin. Both are simply stretched into whatever shape they're willing to achieve, although they are getting much closer to round as my skill improves.
The difference in thickness is entirely doe to the age of the dough when I make the pie. A younger dough, about 18-24 hours old, is very thin, with nice big bubbles. The older dough, 3-5 days, is almost cracker thin, with far fewer bubbles. it's a little past it's prime, but makes an excellent pie all the same.
The older dough is the easiest to stretch into shape, as it has very little elasticity left. It doesn't snap back like the younger dough does.
If I do say so myself, I make a mean piecrust, using a rolling pin.
However, I never roll pizza or bread dough. I find that gentle stretching of those doughs works much better.
Best length would be what is comfortable for you. The pin doesn't have to be at least 14" long, depending on you, ergonomics may or may not be an issue, I recommend the width of the pin is less than your inside grip, probably 10-12". Height (diameter) of the pin, 3". Wood finish, dusting with flour will keep the pin "non-stick".
Roll the dough outwards (from the center/middle) to an inch or so wider than your goal, the dough may contract.
For rolled dough, a local pizza place uses a machine to roll their dough, then they "run over" their dough with a spiked roller. This pokes holes in the dough.
As mentioned previously, a wine or similarly shaped bottle works in a pinch.
What kind of pizzas are you making?
Regardless of your current planned uses, I believe a wood French pin is a great thing to gave around, and they are not pricey.